Israeli soldiers stand near the border with Syria in the Golan Heights.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Israel Air Force struck and killed four terrorists who crossed into Israel from Syria and planted explosives near an abandoned IDF post on Sunday night, said a senior IDF source.
The source declined to say which organization the terrorist cell belonged to, saying it was too soon for such details.
The incident, which occurred at 9:30 p.m. on the northern Golan Heights near Majdal Shams, began when Combat Intelligence Collection units identified four suspects planting the explosives on the eastern side of the border fence, within Israeli territory.
The suspects were placed under a top priority observation for several minutes before action was taken.
The IDF confirmed that the terrorists were in fact planting bombs before ordering an air strike, the source said. “We could see them planting the explosives clearly.”
At least three terrorists have been killed, and a fourth has most likely been killed as well, but that will be confirmed after daybreak on Monday, he added.
“The incident is fairly local, and is under control,” the source said.
He stressed that although the terrorists infiltrated into Israel, they did not cross the 110-km. border fence, which is within Israeli territory.
“We are continuing to carry out routine security missions in the North. Our evaluation for the coming days has not changed,” he added.
The IDF said that it will not “tolerate any attempt to harm or violate Israeli sovereignty.”
In January 2015, according to foreign- media reports, an IAF aircraft fired missiles at a military convoy in the town of Quneitra, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
Six senior Hezbollah operatives, including Jihad Mughniyeh, son of the late Hezbollah operations chief Imad Mughniyeh, and six senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials, including Brig.-Gen. Muhammad Ali Allahdadi, were killed in the attack.
Mughniyeh was “the head of a major terrorist entity” who was setting up a base on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights with Iranian help and was planning deadly cross-border attacks against Israel, including infiltrations, rockets and border bombings, a Western intelligence source said.
Hezbollah retaliated days later by firing five Kornet missiles at an IDF convoy traveling 2 km. away from the Lebanese border, striking an Isuzu D-Max vehicle and killing two soldiers inside.